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March Market Update: Transportation Industry News


We’re hearing a lot about mega ships and an increase in shipments to East and West Coast ports, a technician shortage, and changes in government regulations. Learn more about these topics in this month’s update. We welcome your thoughts on them and others that impact the transportation industry and your business.

Large Scale Market Indicators
With mega ships in the trans-Pacific, carrier mergers, and the continued expansion of the Panama Canal, East and West Coast ports are expecting a large influx in shipments. In January 2016, the Port of Los Angeles reported a 33% increase in total container volume year over year, with imports up 41.6%. Read more.

Driver Detention
According to a recent poll about dwell time conducted by DAT, 69% of drivers polled said they are detained for more than two hours at least half of the time, and 19% said they are “almost always” detained for more than two hours. What’s more, when asked how often drivers collected a detention fee, only 33% said they collect at least half of the time. Read more.

Driver Shortage
While the debate continues regarding how bad the driver shortage is, there are also between 50,000 and 100,000 technicians needed in the industry by 2020. Signing bonuses, tool investments, training, and career fairs are just some of the ways people are looking to attract new technicians to the industry.

Government Regulations
Despite Congress requiring a revamp of the scoring measures in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s dashboard in December, the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) returned the absolute measure of the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) to public view in March.

Global Forwarding
President Obama signed the Customs Reauthorization Bill, which raises the de minimis value from $200 to $800, minimizing the amount of paperwork needed to clear customs when entering the United States for smaller value items. Read more.